If you’re capable of enjoying long walks in solitude or solo dining, chances are you’ll be “A-Okay” enough to go on a holiday alone.
Going solo is always a good time to appreciate your own company and perhaps really experience traveling without having to worry about what the other party/parties want to do/see/eat. It’s the ultimate self-indulgence, it’s refreshing, and it’s restorative.
Besides, super bragging points if you manage to pull off a holiday all on your own and still come back in one piece, with lots of stories to tell to boot :)
But before you book that solo trip for the next long weekend, here are some tips and tricks of the trade to ensure that you make it in and out just fine:
1. Arm yourself with lots of information
The most nerve-wracking hours are always about 24 hours before your flight. But use these hours wisely! Take this time to print and compile all your flight information, important addresses, and contact numbers, schedule, and keep them in a clear pocket file. Of course, don’t forget to chuck your passport into the clear pocket file too while you’re at it.
2. Do your homework beforehand
If you’re going to a foreign country where English isn’t its first language, then learn it quick. By that, we don’t mean learn an entire syllabus, but enough to get by easily e.g. to say “Hello”, order food, ask for directions, etc. It’s also good to Google the traditions and cultures of your destination because you don’t want to unknowingly piss anyone off with just a gesture.
3. Stay in contact always
Leave detailed copies of your bookings, travel itineraries, and schedules at home for your family’s reference. If you need a portable/pocket WiFi or a SIM card to stay in contact with your family and friends, find out how to book one. Be sure to “check in” on Facebook occasionally to let your network know where you are. Feel free to share (geotagged) Instagram posts too! Social media is always the most hassle-free way of updating others.
4. Know what you must pack
The biggest challenge is knowing what you must pack. Since you’re alone, you’re going to have to pack everything that you need because you can’t conveniently loan things off a travel buddy. Aside from the must-have toiletries, ensure that you pack your powerbank, tablet/smart phone, charger, books (if that’s your thing), comfy sneakers or sandals, sunnies, and basic clothing.
5. Plan your budget well
It’s true – you probably won’t be able to split the cost of transportation or a meal when you’re alone. So plan your budget wisely. You can start by Googling the general cost of living of your holiday destination. Then split your cash up from the grand total, spread it out evenly across the days that you’re traveling, and match that against your schedule/plans. It should give you rough idea.
6. Make new friends but trust no one
Turn things up a notch by setting a goal to talk to at least 3 new people a day. This is more achievable if you’re staying at a hostel or at a backpacker’s. The most fun part about traveling solo is meeting new people and making new friends but it could also be dangerous. Share stories, go for coffee, go for drinks, but don’t trust anyone completely just yet. Especially not with your drink or luggage or money.
7. Turn down on the “n00b”
One surefire way of allowing people to point you out for a tourist is if you’re walking around looking flustered, with your face planted in a map half the time. Don’t do that! Instead, download useful apps to your phone such as a GPS, a translator, a currency converter, and some travel guides. Some countries even have public transportation apps and schedules available for download so be sure to get those too.
8. Take time to soak it all in
Sit by the beach, take the public transportation, walk lots, chill out at a cafe, really savour every bite of your meal. Do all of that alone while watching the world go by because traveling solo means you can be selfish. Observe how people interact, find out how things work, and just kill time. But try not to stare at people too much because that could be just a little creepy.
Now go get out of your comfort zone and have an adventure!
If you’re looking to get a portable WiFi for your solo travels, may we suggest renting one off Wiyo Malaysia. It’s a service that allows you to #stayconnectedabroad with access to the world from virtually anywhere on the best mobile networks with speed and coverage. Wiyo Malaysia covers over 27 countries with rental from as low as RM28/day – much cheaper that international roaming and with 10 times more data allowance.
You game? To arm yourself with a portable/pocket WiFi, visit their website.
Feature image from Girl Talk HQ.